Nebraska Cattlemen ring in 2019 | TSLN.com

Nebraska Cattlemen ring in 2019

Terri Licking
for Tri-State Livestock News

The wind and cold that met Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate's members headed to the second annual New Year's Eve Winter Ball. It had snowed in the morning, but not enough to worry about. But at twenty below, the evening was warmer than the thirty below temperature that the cattlemen and women had faced the year prior.

The Hooker County Community Center on the fairgrounds west of Mullen had hardly an empty seat for the tantalizing prime rib supper from Gregg and Dawn Mallory of the Chuckwagon N Jug which was capped off by a myriad of cheesecakes and fruit crisps.

Helping serve and clean-up were the FFA clubs from Sandhills High School at Dunning and Thedford High School. "Our area has three high schools, so we alternate every year which group helps. Last year, Mullen FFA benefitted," said Tessa Quittner, Halsey, secretary of the NCSA.

Frank Utter, Brewster, president of the NCSA, welcomed the 175 in attendance. The evening is the major fundraiser for the group, helping provide scholarships to graduating seniors and in 2018, they awarded their first collegiate scholarship. Paige Martindale and Jaylee Simonson who graduated in May from Sandhills High, and college sophomore Kelsey Phillips received $1,000 scholarships from the NCSA.

To assist in the funding, donors gave a myriad of items for the silent auction and several large items were auctioned live. A rifle also was raffled off. The NCSA seeks sponsorships from area businesses once per year. Those sponsorships help with the annual Winter Ball, the summer golf outing and steak supper at the Dismal River Golf Club in June and the annual fall ranch tour.

"We hope we can secure enough funds from this year's Winter ball to allocate for another annual scholarship," said Utter. At press time, the final net income for the evening was unavailable,

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Besides Utter and Quittner other NCSA board members helping make the night a success include John Kraye and Miles Mundorf, Mullen, Adam Zutavern, Troy Saner, Dunning, Dan Wacher, Kelly Kennedy, Purdum and Eric Schipporeit, Brewster. Absent for the ringing in of the New Year was Brenda Masek, the past president of the NCSA. 2019 was brought in with music by the Kearney band Blue Mesa.

The NCSA will hold their annual reorganizational meeting Jan. 14 at the Sandhills Corral in Thedford. All are welcome. Contact one of the board members for more information.